We jammed a lot into the holiday weekend! Having an extra day off was really great and put me in a summer mindset that was really hard to leave, aka I did NOT want to go back to work on Wednesday! Fortunately the rainy weather since then has made it not so bad! But here’s how we spent our 4th of July weekend!
We had our friends over Friday night and it turned into a really late night, keeping the kids out waaay past bedtime, but us grownups were having too much fun to say goodnight, our excuse “Its summer”! While we chatted on the deck we planned a super fun Saturday for everyone! We went to lunch at 12 Gates Brewery, which (despite it being a brewery) was a perfect place for kids, they had picnic tables outsides and lots of room to run around, and even some yard games! We got there right at noon when they opened so we were the only ones there for about the first hour. The absolute BEST part about this place is that its located right near the airport and the planes fly right overhead, which was awesome! It was a little scary for the kids at first, but they got used to it. We downloaded a flight tracker app so that we could see when planes were coming and give everyone a heads up.
After lunch we headed back to our friends house to go swimming for the afternoon! Ada did awesome swimming in the big pool all by herself with just her water wings!
On Sunday, we decided last minute to go up to Conesus Lake, where Dan’s family has a cottage, we go every year. I’m not a big fan of sleeping in a tent which is what has to happen when we go because there are so many people, but we decided to go up around dinner time, after Dan got out of work, and just stay for the fireworks then drive home.
Ada got to go on a boat ride, which she has been asking to do since our Florida trip. she played with cousins and watched the fireworks. Again, it was a VERY late bedtime!
Oh yeah, and our house officially went up for sale on Monday July 3rd!
On the fourth our friends invited us to their house so the kids got to play all afternoon and then we walked to where the fireworks were and let them run around some more!
It was a super fun weekend that we didn’t want to end! 4th of July is always my favorite holiday (better then Christmas) Its just feels like summer to me, we stay so busy but its always fun, relaxing things like swimming and campfires!
I haven’t posted in awhile, we’ve had a lot going on. Between summer fun and getting our house listed to sell!! (Yep, on the move again 3rd time in 5 years, but I swear this is the last time!) Also, I had an appendectomy that shut me down for almost 3 weeks! Lots of craziness over here!
I thought I’d share a quick post of some of my favorite summer time moments so far!
Ada finished her first year of “School” its really her daycare program but its Pre-k3 so its actually a structured educational classroom with lessons. They finished the year with a show, and it was beyond adorable! She did great singing all her favorite nursery rhymes and we got to meet some of her little friends from school, it was very cute!
We got to meet our new baby Niece, Natalie Isobel, who arrived June 8th! She is the most precious itty bitty and Ada loves her soo much! I got to take some pictures of them in the hospital when Big Sister Savannah met her little baby sister for the first time!
And a couple of Ada being the most Awesome big cousin ever! She’s such a pro holding her little Baby Natalie!
And one of me meeting my third little niece for the very first time!
Its been a fun summer and I feel like its flying by, so I made a bucket list for us of things I want to do this summer! So far I think we’ve only done one of them…. Spend the day at Niagara Falls. We went to visit my old office crew and say hello to everyone, followed by an afternoon in the park. I thought it wouldn’t be too crowded on a Wednesday afternoon but I was wrong, all we got to do was the Cave of the Winds, which Ada LOVED!
So far its been a great summer, but here is what else is on our bucket list…. Let’s see how much of it we can fit in!
Niagara Falls USA
Go to the Beach
Drive In Movies
Fantasy Island Theme Park
Take a hike through a state park
Take a Road Trip (this might be coming in the fall instead)
Go strawberry picking
Go to a fair or Festival
We’ve also been spending a lot of time with our friends, just hanging out on our back deck, (we won’t have it much longer) we’ve been playing in the sprinklers, having campout fires (as Ada calls them), movie nights and family time!
More summer posts to come! We had a super fun fourth of July weekend and hopefully we’ll be able to cross some more stuff off our summer bucket list! How has your summer been so far?
Both our families were in town for Easter this year, we’ve had a few years where Dan’s parents were out of town, so we didn’t have to split our time, but this year we did a double day again!
Ada has been counting down to Easter this year, she loves holiday’s and so we made an Easter chain about 2 weeks ago and she’s been literally counting down the days.
I also wish we actually had people to our house during Easter, my table was looking so festive and springy!
I loved the little Easter Baskets I put together for my nieces. My Florida Niece got a special package in the mail, and my sister’s girls both needed matching Easters Baskets (one is coming this June, so she’ll have one to match her sister next year!)
I colored Easter Eggs with Ada one night too, which she loved, it got a little messy but she loved mixing and matching the colors. I bought a marble kit this year, so the colors all blended together instead of turning into gross shades when you apply more then one color!
On Saturday, I had found all these fun breakfast ideas on Pinterest and since most ideas I find on there turn into major #PinterestFails I was delighted when this one actually turned out pretty cute! Ada was super excited about it!
Sunday morning she did her Egg hunt which she loved and keeps reenacting now over and over again, even as I try to keep hiding them away for the season. She also got a few new books, some bubbles, some painting things and her favorite, a new Moana Dress up costume. She’s obsessed with that movie right now!
We had brunch with Dan’s family where Ada received a gigantic Easter egg filled with some goodies for outside, bubbles, chalk, a jump rope, and some other little things!
And then headed over to my family for dinner. The weather started out not so nice that day, but it actually turned into a beautiful evening, so we sat on their back deck and let the kids (and dad) play in the yard for awhile to run off some of that sugar from the day!
Hope everyone else had a nice Easter too! We are ready for summer to start now!!
While in Florida this past February, we spent 2 days at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Ada is so obsessed with the Disney Princesses that I knew this would be a perfect trip for her right now. And since I’m still trying to get her familiar with the idea of travel, I want to make sure they are trips she is excited about. I know she probably won’t remember the details of the trip, most people recommend going when they are a little older, but I figured that since the family is in Tampa, its a perfect time to visit them and give her a little taste of Disney.
2 days is definitely not enough, but at the same time, it was plenty! There was obviously only so much we could do in 2 days, and being that she is still so young we wanted to make sure we hit up the things she was most excited about.
Our first (half) day there we didn’t have tickets to the parks, so we checked into the hotel and played at pool all afternoon.
I then, neglected to make any dinner reservations for the first night, so we were left scrambling to find something. We thought about heading to Downtown Disney, but it just didn’t seem worth the hassle to pack everyone up and take the bus out. Instead we hopped the monorail and headed to the Polynesian Resort, where I wish we would have stayed. I remember staying there as a kid and so I wanted to show Dan, but we foolishly thought we could just walk up to a restaurant. Of course everything was booked. We were informed that the Kona Cafe had a first come, first serve bar seating area, and we somehow managed to nab three seats there. After dinner we walked around, grabbed a famous Dole whip (the only place you can find them outside of Adventure Land in the Magic Kingdom), and we were able to catch the fireworks from the beach at the hotel. All things we just happened to stumble upon and probably couldn’t have planned any better.
I booked this trip 30 days out, and apparently that was not nearly soon enough. When booking the “Magic your Way” tickets and staying on a Disney property, reservations for restaurants and fast passes open up 60-180 days out, so everything I really wanted to do like Cinderella’s Table or Chef Mickeys, etc. was completely booked up, we had to be a little flexible. The only character dining I could get our first day was lunch at Hollywood & Vine inside Hollywood studios, which changed our plans quite a bit. Hollywood Studios wasn’t exactly on my itinerary this time around, but it ended up working out for the best. There was a lot more in that park for younger kids then Epcot, which was my original plan. The only reason I wanted to do Epcot was for the Frozen ride, but instead in Hollywood Studios we started our day with the Frozen sing-a-long, which was a perfect alternative. She got to see her princesses in real life, and it even “snowed” white foamy bubbles at the end, which was super exciting for her!
After the Frozen Sing-a-long, we did the Voyage of the Little Mermaid, this only had a short wait time and by the time it was over it was lunch time. That show was alright, she was excited to see Ariel live, but honestly in my opinion its time for Disney to update the theatrics, it seemed a little outdated, but to a 3 year old it was just fine!
Hollywood & Vine has the Disney Junior characters. So we saw Sophia the First, Doc McStuffins, Jake the Pirate and Handy Manny. They all make their way to your table at some point during your meal and it had a pretty decent buffet for lunch. She was just so excited the whole time!
After lunch we debated trying to catch the Disney Junior Live! show, but decided that it was getting hot and we just saw half those characters so we headed back to the hotel for a nap. We did get to see Donald on our way out!
That evening, we had Fast Passes to Enchanted Tales with Belle. So after we were all refreshed we made our way into the Magic Kingdom for our first glimpse at the Castle!
5:00 was a perfect time to head into the park because I think everyone was at dinner so we didn’t have to fight crowds to get to Belle on time. We did it right away at the early side of our Fast Pass time slot, and this was probably the cutest thing we did our whole trip and made such an impression on Ada. Belle is her most favorite princess right now, so I think she was literally star struck. The whole attraction though was just perfect for her, it was with a small intimate group, so you could really take it all in, and I felt like she actually got some cute, quality time with Belle up close.
After, we had some time and there was only a 20 minute wait at Ariels Grotto, so we waited a little bit for her to meet her second most favorite princess right now, Ariel.
We did a quick-service dinner and then it was time to get ready for the fireworks. Grandpa had sent her a gift card in the mail before our trip so we let her pick out a light up toy to play with while waiting for the fireworks, and then we caught the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular. So glad we got to see this since its coming to an end in May! She loved the fireworks despite thinking they were too loud!
We went back to the hotel that night and somehow the girl was wired still, so we let her go run around in the splash pad until about 9:30, at which point we threw her in a warm tub to clean up and she passed out in about 30 seconds.
The next morning we got up early and made it to the Magic Kingdom again right at 9am when the gates opened, it was great timing as the lines were not yet too long and once inside, the park felt pretty empty. We even got to see Minnie as she was walking out! Perfect timing! (Main Street doesn’t look empty below, but the rest of the park really was!)
Our first stop was Fast Passes to meet Repunzel and Tiana. I’d read a lot about saving your fast passes until the afternoon, but there somehow was already a 50 minute wait and so I’m glad I didn’t take that advice and just got the Fast Pass for 9am. We were in and out in about 15 minutes and she was in her glory meeting both!
I had called Disney on the phone before our trip to help me find restaurant reservations after I was becoming frustrated at the the fact that everything was booked. Someone actually managed to get us into Chef Mickeys at 10:30am, it wasn’t in my mind the most convenient time but I really wanted Ada to dine with Mickey and Minnie, so we took it. (I think someone worked some magic because we were guests of the Contemporary Hotel, which is where this restaurant is located. I can’t confirm this, but I don’t know how else we would have been booked there, when everything said no availability). This is why we got to the park so early though and what prompted me to book a fast pass, I wanted to get something in before 10:30 breakfast. It involved some back and forth, park hopping, which with the convenience of the monorail made this not the worst scenario. When we left the park the gates were mobbed!! Never try to enter the park around 10:00-10:30 it was crazy! When we came back into the park again after breakfast/lunch around 12:30 the gates were dead again!
Chef Mickeys at this time was also actually a blessing in disguise. Because it was the tail end of breakfast, as people cleared out, no new guests were coming in because they were getting ready to turn over for lunch. So because there were fewer and fewer people, the characters we’re actually starting to come around again.
We spent the rest of that afternoon in the Magic Kingdom again, and it had gotten crazy busy and super hot! We had fast passes for the Monster’s Inc Laugh Factory, which was super cute and felt amazing inside because it was all air conditioned. We grabbed some ice cream en route to the Haunted Mansion and when we got there, the Fast Pass line was longer then the regular line and we almost skipped it. Luckily, we found a shady spot for about 15 minutes and when I went back the line was down again and so we did that. Ada loves scary things so she was super pumped for the Haunted Mansion. I think she got a little nervous once we were inside but quickly got excited again and she loved it!
When we came out the afternoon Parade was just starting so Ada took the best seat in the house and we watched that before heading out!
She fell asleep in the stroller rental we had shortly after that, so once we got to the gates to leave I had to carry her all the way back to the hotel, that was suuuper fun! We had already checked out of our hotel, so we just grabbed a shady lounge chair by the pool and let her nap. I ran up to the hotel shops to get some souvenirs and then we let her run around the splash pad again for about a half hour before jumping in the car to drive “home” (Back to Tampa). We got in around 7pm and she talked Grandma’s ear off about everything we did!!
All in all it was a great way to add to our Florida trip! Next time we plan to stay at the Polynesian Resort and actually just take some time to enjoy the hotel and some of the things around that don’t even require park tickets. There is just so much to Disney World without having to pay hundreds of dollars to go to a park and since we have the family in Tampa and go down so much, its not one of those “once in a lifetime trips”, we can actually just do small bursts of Disney a little at a time, which I think is totally the way to do it!
I’m going to do our Florida trip in two parts. We headed south at the end of February, and visited family in Tampa and then did two days in Disney World, but since Disney warrants its own post I’ll do that part separate.
Tampa is amazing for kids and families. I never really did a good post on our trip last year down to visit, when we did the Tampa Zoo and the Florida Aquarium, but since we go to Tampa at least once or twice a year I’ll do that at some point! This time, we were there for a day and a half before Disney and then another day after. Dan’s brother lives there, so we visit a lot and plan to do so even more.
Our first day there this time around, we hit up Datz for breakfast which was amazing! The Monkey bread was to die for, I had chicken and waffles which was so filling for breakfast but super delicious. It was a fantastic place for kids, it was loud and energetic and they gave some fun little wax sticks for the kids which kept them occupied forever.
Afterwards we spent the afternoon at Treasure Island Beach in St. Petes. Ada really loved the beach, my favorite comment from her was “Mommy, I don’t understand how the beach is soo fun?” She just melts my heart with how much she loves and appreciates everything we do with her at this age. I have to remind myself that we don’t have to do over the top things, she is so impressed with the simple things. The weather was perfect and we had sunshine and family time, so it was the best first day!
We did two days in Disney afterwards, which I’ll recap later and then had another beach day in Clearwater after we got back. It was fun to break up the trip into two parts and that way we didn’t get burnt out of anything too fast, and I honestly feel like two days in Disney was enough! There’s obviosuly a lot we didn’t do, but to break it up with some beach time made it for a relaxing and fun trip for everyone.
After we got back into Tampa, we spent our last day in Clearwater at a little beach/bar restaurant area called Whiskey Joes. We could see it from the road as we were driving into Clearwater, and both Dan and I looked at each other and said “I hope we’re going there!” (we were just following the fam). It was like a little private island getaway and on a Wednesday afternoon it was dead, so we basically had the beach and the bar to ourself. We enjoyed some fish tacos, beers, mango mojitos and sunshine! A perfect last day!
We finished out the day with a stop at the park so the girls could run around in the sprinklers and enjoyed some beautiful views of Tampa Bay, then dinner in the cute little historic area of Ybor. Where we took a stroll through downtown and hit up the Tampa Bay Brewing Company for dinner. Complete with a super amazing Sunset sky!
What are your favorite things to do in Tampa? We travel there a lot to visit and are always looking for more fun things to do to make our trips different! Suggestions welcome!
How the heck did that happen? I can’t even go into it again about how fast time flies, or how amazing it is to watch her grow into an awesome little person! Being a mom is seriously the best! What I will say is that I plan to start traveling a lot more with her, now that we are passing that infant/toddler craziness and she is becoming a little more rational (sometimes) and more patient with things (sometimes), now is our chance! When we took her to Tampa this past spring, I have never seen her smile so big or her eyes lite up as much. They are like little sponges and they just want to soak up all life has to offer, and at this age they just want us to be part of everything with them. Ada never wants me to leave her, I have to sit on the bed at night until she falls asleep, she wants me to play dolls with her, she wants to help me cook and clean. She always wants to give me one more hug and kiss. Now is the time in her life when I should just be spending every second I can with her, take her everywhere with us and experience everything amazing through her eyes. Because before I know it she’s not going to want me around all the time. She’ll want to do things by herself, she’ll want privacy, she’ll prefer to travel with her friends over her parents, and I don’t want to let this amazing time get away from me!
In honor of her birthday, I asked her a bunch of questions so I could document her thoughts at three years old. Her answers were so adorable and proves how much she just wants us there. I think I will do this every year on her birthday! (Until she is too cool for it). We will love to look back at her innocence and her beautiful little heart as she gets older! I’ll also re-cap her birthday party in another post!
What is your name? Ada Magacheffy
How old are you? Three, holds up her three fingers every time.
What makes you super happy? When mommy comes back to pick me up
What makes you sad? When mommy leaves
What is your favorite song? Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star and the Itsy Bitsy spider, I like both favorite songs.
Who is your best friend? Abigail and CJ
What is your favorite thing about school? Playing with legos and housekeeping, and too much friends.
What is your favorite food? Oh, mac n’ cheese!!
What is something mommy always says to you? Goodnight Ada
What is daddy really good at? Doing puzzles with me
What is your favorite color? Red…. and yellow and the rainbow
What do you want to be when you get bigger? Doc McStuffins
What else do you want to tell mommy? I like to read and eating chicken nuggets too!
And just for fun I wanted to write some other things that I always want to remember about my little (big) three year old:
-Her favorite thing I make for her right now is peanut butter and cheese sandwiches, weird but she loves it!
-Give the girl some lemons and she is a happy camper, I’ve never seen anyone suck on lemons the way she does.
-She LOVES dip, anything and everything as long as she has dip she’s good. When we don’t have dip I sprinkle a little tastefully simple mix into sour cream.
-She sleeps like a champ most nights, (as she always has). I rarely hear from her, with the few exceptions of when she wakes up somewhere between 2am and 4am and wants to get up to play. Not Cool. Sometimes its to go potty, in which case she won’t even open her eyes as I carry her in and out of the bathroom and she’s back out seconds later.
-She has been potty trained since Christmas break, which is amazing! 27 months of diapers isn’t too bad! We tried when she was 18 months and she was just not into it at all, but when we tried again (when she was ready) she easily trained in about 2 days. We rarely have an accident.
-She loves watching these silly YouTube shows of grown-ass adults playing with toys, and while I really hate them and didn’t think there was much educational value to them, I’ve found that its actually teaching her how to play, and she now loves her kitchen, dollhouse and baby dolls more than anything. But the Surprise eggs? Is everyone else’s kids into these damn things too? How crazy that people spend so much time making these videos, and even crazier that kids love them so much!
-Her favorite thing to tell me is that she is getting big, but that I don’t want her to get big, I want her to stay little (which is true!) I must have said it once and now that’s all she remembers.
– “Why?” She must say this 1,000 times per day and sometimes, I just don’t have the answer, I love her curiosity and trying to explain the most basic things to her, but holy cow it gets tough!
And that’s my little Ada, a fireball, a sweetheart and one smart cookie. I can’t get over how much of a friend and person she is to me now. She’ll forever be my baby and I miss holding her in one arm, but I sure do love watching her grow before my eyes and becoming the sweetest little girl I could ever imagine!
We celebrated Ada’s second Halloween Friday but it was her first time trick-or-treating! The weather was horrible, it was cold and rainy, luckily she is still so little so we just did a few houses and walked around the corner to check out a neat haunted house display.
My sister and her husband Dan came over to hang out with us. They were going to pass out candy for us while we took Little A out trick-or-treating, but we ended up just shutting off our lights for about 15 minutes and all going out. We came back, put Ada to bed and then made some Halloween snacks and drank wine. A perfect little Halloween Night! Now we can get ready for Thanksgiving, which is one of my favorites!
Just a short post and a ton of photos from this past weekend. We are still trying to soak in as much fall fun as we can before the weather turns bad, which around here could be anytime now. Canalside Buffalo put on a pretty awesome Fall Fest last weekend, so we went down and let Ada enjoy more pumpkins and some other fun things. We went with her friend Abby, and the girls had so much fun running around and riding the carousel. Another fun weekend!!
We also had a family photo shoot done at the park and I made Dan stick around after we were done so that I could snap a few. We then spent the rest of our day playing in the leaves!
Just got home from our annual trip to the Adirondacks, It was my 7th year going with Dan’s family and I learn to enjoy it a bit more every year. This year was Ada’s first year, last year I was mega-pregnant! We all had a really great time, she was the perfect age to travel with this year, still young enough that we could relax, but not mobile enough that I had to follow her around. She was happy to just sit on my lap, nap in her stroller and had no problems sleeping, which is always my biggest fear when travelling. She also did great on the 4 hour car ride both there and back!
We took her on a hike, and she loved riding in the backpack with daddy.
We tried to take her on a boat ride, but that lasted a hot second with the life vest. She did okay at first and then wanted nothing to do with it, so we had to leave her behind with Grandma while mommy and daddy went out.
She of course loved the swings at the little playground we have right at our cabins, and was more then happy to hang out there all day if we let her!
She was not too sure about the sand at all. In fact she ended up hating it, I don’t think she liked the feeling of the ground moving under her little feet. I’m sure by next year she’ll be over that though!
And of course with such a gorgeous background, I couldn’t resist doing a little photoshoot with my two loves.
Its hard to believe Ada is almost 6 months old. I was just reading back on my post from when she was just one month and it was so amazing to read my thoughts during that time. Those first four weeks were definitely some of the most challenging times and its funny now because we feel like she’s been with us forever. 6 months isn’t that long but we really can’t even remember what life was like before Ada was part of it. I wanted to try and go back a little and recall some special moments since that post!
Meet Barrett, this is my girlfriends beautiful baby boy who was born just 5 weeks before Ada. This photo is from one of their first play dates together! They are going to be the best of friends, but Bear’s mommy and Ada’s daddy are cousins, so we will need to remind these two as they grow up that they are related to one another!!
Ada’s first Halloween she was my little lady bug! She did such a great job playing the part too, just look at those little bug dimples!
She continues to absolutely love bath time, and I still swear by the fact that she sleeps better when she has a bath. She’s been such a great sleeper, from 8 weeks right through Christmas we were getting a solid 10 hours a night, every single night. We back tracked a little over the holidays but I think we had her schedule all out of whack with all the holiday parties and house guests!
Little peanut is such a chill baby, she loves just hanging out on the couch with mom and dad after work, now that she’s a little older she likes to lay by herself on the couch and not so much with one of us, she’s snuggly but I think she likes her freedom too. After being held for too long baby girl just likes to stretch out and play on the floor or couch!
This girl LOVES football! Whenever we needed a distraction we put her in front of a football game! Lucky for us she was born during football season! We’re hoping she doesn’t have her Daddy’s temper when it comes to the Bills losing. (She better learn that the Bills never win and she shouldn’t get her hopes up!)
Finally below are some pictures from Ada’s first Christmas! Even though she was still so little at Christmas, it was amazing to see her expressions for everything. She loved all the lights on the Christmas tree, and she was so amazed Christmas morning, we sat her in the Bumbo seat and opened presents with her, my favorite one is her expression when we opened her Elf on the Shelf (below). I also did my best to do a Christmas Photo shoot with her in her outfit. I did this a few weeks before Christmas with the intention of doing a Christmas card, and I captured some of her first great big smiles, the one below was one of my favorites, you can almost hear what a happy baby she is!